Tabatas duration/intensity

Plans «Intervals for road racing» and «Road racing in-season» (both advanced) have Tabata workouts in them, however they differ from the “Tabata Intervals” training tips article /tips/tabata-intervals/

  • “Intervals for road racing” has 40 seconds ON @ 150% of FTP in the wko details and a statement «Full gas» in the description.

  • “Road racing in-season” also has 40 seconds ON @ 150% of FTP in the wko details, but the description says «170%» of FTP (I assume 170% is incorrect for a 40sec duration?).

Shall the Tabatas be performed according to the wko detail build meaning 40 seconds ON @ 150% of FTP (or @ 170%) or follow the science in the training tip article, i.e. 20 seconds ON @ 170% of FTP?

40 sec On = 150%
20 sec On = 170%*

*by the critical power duration model. I.e. the shorter the duration the higher the power. And vice versa, the longer the duration the lower the power.

Paging Coach @Isaiah for the edit in the workout description of the Road Race In-Season (sorry about that)

Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy.


As an add on, why are these 40/20 vs 20/10? I’m assuming due to the nature of road race vs crit?

Progressive overload + race specificity

Progressive overload = start you out at 20 secs to ‘ease’ into the Tabatas and then once you’re acclimated, you are ready for the 40 seconders

Race Specificity = you are rarely on the gas for more than 20 seconds in CX and barely 40 for criteriums so its really about the physiological adaptation and the 2:1 work to rest ratio works well for both

It looks like I’ve found my Achilles Heel. I pride myself in being pretty strong anaerobically, but last night’s 40-second Tabatas absolutely kicked my butt! This is literally the first time I’ve not been able to finish a workout and hit all the wattage targets. 150% of FTP? Are you serious? 3 sets of 8 repeats? Has anyone ever smashed this one whose last name is not Van Der Poel?
If so, I’m going to chalk it up to not being rested enough or fueled sufficiently (which I doubt).
I searched and couldn’t find any training tips for doing 40-seconders. Should this be done primarily seated? Or standing? I want to give this workout another try next week because I’m determined to beat it!

I have a tabata workout: 3 sets of 8 @ 170% at 20 secs on/10 off

I don’t come close to finishing them. Looking at the last time I tried that workout on 5/2 I was about to write out how it went but I’ll just add a pic to this post but they are very hard. Not that I didn’t expect them to be but psychologically for me I think, “20 seconds 8 times, I can do that”. It’s amazing how fast at that ftp% your legs fatigue. Such good work though, I’m excited to down the road keep getting further through these.


Oh man, you gotta get OFF the trainer and do them outside if you want a chance at completing them. Inside on the trainer is just cruel an unusual pavement.

Try them outdoors - they’ll go much better :100:

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Between work and family it’s tough for me to get outside. I figure getting on the trainer is better then nothing. I also don’t have a power meter on any bike I use outside and I like to make sure I’m doing the workouts the way they’re intended. It does suck doing them on erg mode though.